breast cancer, Uncategorized

Every Four Hours

It’s 5 am. I’m awake because my pain medicine wore off at 4:33 am. I woke up with aching pains throughout my arms, my wrists, and my shoulders. I wanted to wait as long as I could to call for A, who desperately needs sleep. I made it until 4:47 am before waking him. He got my medicine and sat with me for 10 minutes, and then I sent him, pleaded with him, to go back to bed. I know he needs sleep. I need him to sleep. I need him rested so he can help me navigate the physical and emotional upheaval.

My body physically feels and looks like a war zone. I had to change shirts yesterday, or rather, A had to help me change shirts yesterday, and I looked at what’s left. What little is left. I looked at the ravaged skin, the stitches. It’s ugly. It’s not what was supposed to be there. Not a single one of my doctors thought the cancer was in my lymph nodes. There was no clinical indications of it. None. But it was, and now, I’m sitting here with four drains hanging out of my body in the wrong places. I was supposed to have four drains. Two in my rebuilt breasts and two in my abdomen where they took the skin the rebuild my breasts. But, I have no breasts. I have all the skin on my stomach. I am still marked for a reconstructive surgery I did not have and am waiting for the pathology report to come back telling us what happens next. What stage is this monster? What treatments I will have to have now. What does the dark future look like now? What are my chances for survival?

Emotionally, I am a war zone. When I was first diagnosed, I was put on Xanax to help me handle the anxiety. The anxiety was overwhelming. I’d never felt anything like what I felt then…until now. This is so much worse. Yesterday, A called Dr. H and told her, truthfully, I’d had two panic attacks within two hours yesterday. The anxiety is out of control. She’d seen it for herself when she came to check on me at the hospital. I’d gone three months without needing Xanax. But, here I am…taking it again because my mind is a war zone. I am terrified. Completely terrified. My doctors believed there had been a pathologically complete response. I believed it, too. But, there wasn’t. Did I respond at all? How do I get though this?

My mind and the what ifs are not treating me kindly. I need a hug, the one thing I cannot physically do because my arms hurt. My chest hurts. A rubs my head and kisses my forehead. I need to be able to bury my head into his chest and sob, but I can’t. It hurts too much. It all hurts too much, physically and emotionally.

It’s all just too much.

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